Do not write nonsense on the wall [especially poetry]
Dumb sleepiness
Author: Phạm Vũ Văn Khoa
Published on: 9/30/2015 3:21:33 PM

He looks up at the sky vomiting a bit of gold sun on the top of his head. Day after day the same, he is profusely alone and can only be friendly with sound. To him, the music of Schubert is a body of silence with which he could masturbate. It can stretch far, huddle in, swell big, press tight, be released, spread out, orgasm. But he can’t reach a revelation with this bloc of sound. He is alien to the world around, alien to flesh and skin, to deep red blood to the chambers of lungs billowing in his very ribs. Kinds of motion, things being spoken, lines of vehicles, people, offices markets cities villages, all of it as if they’d never woken from a dumb sleepiness. Sleep of a sleep of a sleep… of a sleep. He doesn’t know whether he exists or is just asleep in a dream of dumb sleepiness. The guy suspects that aloneness has darkly filled his mind and provoked illusions to rise. He’s sleepwalking in search of a path to wake up or is just awake and sinking into a walking sleep. He once heard a peculiar sage talk about the land of revelation inside silence. The guy sets out in search of this silent realm. In a relentless rush up to the highest part of the highest peak of the highest mountain he tries to find it, but a dull static persists in his ear eating straight into his brain. In a relentless rush out to the far reaches of sea beyond any human shadow, the static continues to eat straight into his brain. Until the guy surrenders, soul separating from corpse, and immediately from his ignorant body there grows a kind of tree that starts to rustle the Andantino part of Schubert’s Sonata D.959. Still no silence.

-- translated by Kaitlin Rees
-- painting of Đinh Trường Chinh